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Hi, I have an old van that I use for pottering about in. Its had a new battery and alternator earlier this year and performed no problem, journeying up to Scotland, round Wales etc.

I hadn't used it for a few weeks and jumped in it to go to work on Mon, lights on full in the dark. It conked out, battery dead.

I got it home after charging the battery for 4 hours on Mon night.

I started it today and the alternator was only kicking out about 10volts. I put the battery on charge all day. Checked the battery, showed 13.35volts, the alternator was now kicking out 14.25volts.

Does the alternator have to have a certain voltage applied to it to 'excite' it? Did I not give it chance on Mon by having the lights on full?

Your thoughts are welcome

 

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You may have a drain on the battery and not using it for a few weeks will kill it. The weather being colder also impacts the stored power by up to 50%. I used to disconnect the batteries in 2 of my cars when I used them once weekly as they would be dead inside 2 weeks. 1 modern and the other not. 

At 2000rpm your alternator will be kicking out a bit more. 

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28 minutes ago, snow white said:

Why have lights on when you are starting that will drain a not fully charged battery 

I put the lights on after starting, poor explanation on my part.

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5 minutes ago, Ricko said:

I put the lights on after starting, poor explanation on my part.

So it started ok but conked out on the journey?

1 minute ago, bornfree said:

So it started ok but conked out on the journey?

If that's what happened. It wasn't charging for some reason maybe loose drive belt.

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If the car ran for a while before conking out it may have been running the ignition system on battery power alone - the battery warning light would be lit if this was the case - sounds like a earth or alternator/rectifier problem to me.

Edited by bruno22rf
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Checked the battery just now, 12.30v after sitting for ten days.

Cracked her up, battery showed 11.53v, revved her up then it showed 14.25v

Took her for a spin, with no lights on.

Checked her after half hour with the engine running, still showing 14.25v, so it seems the alternator is ok. Put the lights on, it made no difference.

Carried on for a total of 50 mins.

Switched her off, battery showing 13.25v

I can only think it was a 'one off', possibly expecting too much by not using her for a month, then  putting lights on straight away and not giving her a chance.

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